I think everyone starts thinking about cleaning up after the holidays. You look around and see all that great new stuff you got for Christmas, the stuff you have looks sad and scruffy, the old model cannot compare to the new. You can't close the dresser drawers, who needs so many tee shirts? Not me! But one of the dangers of doing a big clean out is overdoing a big clean out leading to regret in February when you could just kick yourself for tossing the More Cowbell tee-shirt, it was your favorite! Was too! But you look around, where do you start? A couple of years ago I purged my books, with the ereader my hardcovers were just collecting dust and as I've mentioned before with all the moving we do it just gets tiresome schlepping stuff around when you're not even sure what's in the boxes. So, we are back to starting to rummage through our stuff.
We were watching a new show a few days ago, it's a reality show and the cleaning expert is a petite woman who doesn't even look real she's so cute. She doesn't speak English either so she totes an interpreter around with her. Her method is to get everyone to kneel and ask the house permission and it's assistance to help clean. David was having a hard time with that. Then she had them hold each item and reflect on whether it brought them joy. Hmm.. I had a hard with THAT. Why? Well, for instance, if I'm gently clutching my floor mop I have to tell you, it will not bring me a whole lot of joy. However, if I'm gently holding say...... 8 ounces of hand spun lace weight alpaca yarn dyed a lovely shade of lilac, my joy is boundless. We would end up with a house full of yarn, coffee, and knitting bags. You're probably wondering about Bob the cat - that's a roll of the dice. Sometimes when I hold her she fills me with joy, however last week when I was holding her because I caught her trying to revenge puke in my closet there was no joy to be had. I might have been holding her in a tight joyless way actually.
We've started moving everything out, I"m going through my knitting books, with Ravelry I can just buy the one pattern I want instead of a whole book with one that I like. Clothes of course are next, stuff in general. I donate it all - it makes me feel good that someone else can use it. I try to do it slowly, we've found in the past doing a fast, ruthless purge proves nothing - a month down the road you end up spending money replacing what you needed - so it's our usual work in progress.